Helen Fielding Reading (With Princess Leia)

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Last night my friend and I drove to Beverly Hills for the Helen Fielding reading at the Writer's Guild Theater and it was extremely entertaining. I have to say one of the  major perks (besides a $5 parking garage directly across from the theater) was that Carrie Fischer, aka Princess Leia, interviewed her. Princess Leia is fucking hilarious in that crazy sort of way that only a manic depressive recovering alcoholic whose gotten electric shock therapy can be. I love her. 

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Anyway, Fielding didn't read from Mad About the Boy, which I was thankful for. She was a bit shy for the first few minutes, but warmed up quickly, since apparently Princess Leia and her are friends. Fielding discussed how that when she started working on Mad About the Boy it was originally going to be a different story, but Bridget Jones infiltrated her way into the plot line and it became the third book in the series. She didn't tell anyone she was writing it in order to avoid pressure and expectations. She was also concerned with her readers' reaction to a 51-year-old Bridget, who is widowed with two small children. Personally, I did have trouble connecting with her in the same way as I did with the first, but I think it's more of a matter where you're at in your life. 

Fielding recounted many personal stories that have found their way into her books. Someone asked her during the Q & A portion of the character Rebecca (a new Rebecca, not the one from the first) was actually based on the author's friend Helena Bonham Carter- all Fielding would say is that their love of head ornamentation was similar. Fielding also discussed her writing process, which is typical of Bridget's work ethic- go to the fridge, browse online, think about writing, go back to the fridge, write a few words, look out the window, etc... 

I wasn't in love with the second or third Jones books- I think they lost a bit of the original charm and became a bit overdone with silliness (and at least the first one had the Pride and Prejudice parallels). But I do now have a better appreciation for her and her books. She did go to Oxford and knows that her works aren't hardcore serious- she intends for them to be light-hearted and doesn't take them seriously. I can respect that. 

My favorite moment was during the Q & A session a man raised his hand and Princess Leia called out, "A man!" Then she noticed he was gay and added an "-ish" and proceeded to gush over his physique. He took it well and the audience thought it was funny. 
 

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